It’s the Culture, Stupid

Joe Klein: “Deep in the Democratic Party’s DNA is the notion that the economy matters more to voters than cultural issues. Sometimes it does. It certainly did after the crash of 2008. Inflation helped defeat Jimmy Carter in 1980. And then there was 1992, when James Carville wrote his immortal words on the blackboard in Bill Clinton’s Little Rock headquarters: It’s the economy, stupid,

“It wasn’t, really. We were emerging from a minor recession, but Clinton’s economic policies weren’t what won the election—indeed, she changed them almost immediately after winning office, from stimulus to budget-balancing, palliating the bond market and lowering interest rates (a brilliant choice as it happened).

“Clinton won the presidency because he convinced voters that, unlike the past 20 years of Democrats, he was tough on crime (including a rather disgusting execution of Ricky Ray Rector, a black man of limited intelligence) and that he wanted to reform welfare ( which badly needed it).

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